Children of Men: Easily the Best Movie of the Year (SPOILERS possible)

I would estimate that I’ve seen between 20 to 30 films this year in a theatre.

Is that enough for me to have an opinion?

Into the Pit with you! (not you personally)

Hard to say. I don’t know what movies you saw. Art house/foreign/indie films? Mainstream films? A mixture?

That is a lot of films compared to the average person. Personally, I’ve seen about 120 (ish…I didn’t count them this year, but that’s my average for the last several years). I don’t expect everyone to have seen that many (though I think I’m a piker compared to some) but I just really dislike blanket statements of “fact” like “it was a weak year for movies” as if it were true, just based on one person’t movie-going experience. Some years are better than others (1999, for instance, rocked the moon) but no year is honestly a weak year.

And VCO3, :rolleyes:

I see a good mixture of the mainstream and the Art House fair. I live in NYC so I have plenty of opportunity.

I think that if it had been a strong year for movies, you don’t have to search them out. Sure if you see 100+ films you probably see several films you think are great. (or maybe you don’t have a discerning taste) I’ve seen many movies that I felt were good. Not great, but good, or OK.

I also didn’t state it was a fact. In case you don’t know, “IMHO” is shot for ‘in my humble opinion’.

Thank you.

Just… thank you. :smiley:

I saw it tonight and was a bit underwhelmed by the film. I thought all the performances were good, but found part of the story to be a bit cliche.The “traitor” in the Fishes was something that I could have done without.I had hoped for more philosophical discussions on the implications of the premise. I wouldn’t say it was the best film I’d seen this year, but I’d easily put it in the top ten.

Congrats on making a statement that is Pit worthy! However, to be clear for some who might not know why these films are released then - many really good films are released on Christmas Day as that is the last, official day a film can open and be eligible to be nominated for an Oscar for that year.

Lots of studios wait until the last minute (Christmas Day) to open a film, hoping that it will generate enough buzz to get an Oscar nomination and carry it through in the movie theaters for a few months.

Actually glad to read this thread - to be honest, the trailer wasn’t all that great and it seemed like a rip off of Mad Max/Fahrenheit 451/Blade Runner…not that those are bad films to rip off, but derivative all the same. I see it is at my local multiplex - maybe I should go see it.

This isn’t true, although it’s a common misinterpretation of the rule. Films must be released in the calendar year in a commercial theatre in Los Angeles and play for 7 consecutive days. That is, a film can have a run of 12/31-1/6 and qualify. Studios release films on Christmas Day because it’s a huge box office day, and Christmas Eve is a horrible one.

To get back to the film, I thought it was brilliant and I agree that it felt very Hitchcockian.

Wish I hadn’t read this thread title before seeing the movie-- I ended up feeling thoroughly underwhelmed. The cinematography was amazing and I truly did feel like I was in a war zone, but all those smaller, personal tragic sequences rang hollow (especially the last ten minutes or so). The handful of friends I went with felt the same. Ah well. To each her own.

I saw this movie on Saturday and wanted to chime in with my observations. I’ll agree that this was the most harrowing, interesting film that dragged me in and kept me there against my will. Theo was dragged in against his will but stuck around to safely see that Key (sp?) and her baby reached safety. The scene that stayed with me the most is:

After Key and the baby were taken from Theo and he was waiting for execution, Theo managed to escape and find the two in the building being bombarded by the soldiers. When the baby started crying, everyone stopped what they were doing and made way for them. Even outside the building, you could see soldiers salutin, trying to touch the baby’s feet and show a little humanity. The spell was broken a few moments later, but that was a powerful scene.

Not that I completely understand everything that went on. I hope that some kindly Dopers will dust off the Cliffs Notes and explain what this movie symbolized. Or should I just read the book?

I thought they actually handled that well. It would have been really cliche if [spoiler]the “traitor” in the Fishes was actually a traitor or mole, and working on the part of the government.

As it was, he was still loyal to the cause of the Fishes (in his own mind), as he thought the best way to win their cause was to use the baby as a political tool - and apparently he had many other Fishes agreeing with him (all the people in the ambush, and those who voted for him to become the new leader).[/spoiler]

The part that I thought was cliched:

Theo getting shot and slowly dying while heroically saving Key and the baby. I knew it was going to end up that way. Him slumping over in the boat painfully reminded me of the movie I saw just a couple of weeks ago. Blood Diamonds.

The small things I ate up:

-All the pets. They were so cute!

-Jasper’s hippie hide-away. I wanted Key and Theo and the Midwife Lady to just stay there in that loving safety, smoking weed and taking turns caring for Janice and the baby.

-The communal farm house. Before we find out the truth about the Fishes, I wanted Key and Theo to just stay there with all the fresh milk and happy dogs and cats.

-Everybody sporting locs. Though, I found it strange that Key would have permed hair while her friend would have locs. Somehow, it doesn’t strike me as realistic that a Fugee would waste money and time on getting her hair done.

One thing I noticed (and I never read the book, so maybe it’s not an actual subtext)…

Most of the men are straight-up evil. Theo and Jasper are the only good ones, although Theo’s cousin is more indifferent than evil. Sid starts off being righteous, but that doesn’t last long. Who does all the grieving in the movie? Women. In the beginning, we see women crying in response to the murder of Deigo. Who do we see being victimized throughout the film? Jasper’s wife. Theo’s ex-wife. The Midwife. All the sterile women of the world. Key is the quintessential damsel in distress. The whole movie revolves around her baby–a girlchild. Who saves Theo and Key at the end? A woman. And yet, the movie is called Children of Men. Funny, huh?

Oh yes, I liked when that foreign lady beats the crap out of that man. I was bouncing in my seat during that part.

I just saw it today. I thought it was probably the best movie I’m seen in awhile. I thought it was funny and heart breaking and thrilling at exactly the right moments and in some cases the exact same moments.

As I saw the Fishes (weren’t they called Fishers in the movie?)

Jillian was out of touch with the group and that most of the group believed in “The Uprising” idea. Especially since they probably knew the Human Project’s contact with them was tenous at best.

Not that I didn’t enjoy it (in fact I thought it was a very plausible portrayal of an authoritarian UK) - couldn’t you just feel the menace and unapproachability of those two policemen walking the streets of London just before the bombing at the start?

But I have a complaint, and a question.


The characters’ actions towards the end make no sense. Getting into an internment camp where:

  • they have no idea if they’ll be able to get a boat

  • no idea how defended the coastline is

  • no idea of the conditions in the camp

  • no idea if they’ll even be able to make the rendezvous (perhaps they’ll be placed in temporary holding cells on their first nights, for example?)

with a pregnant girl who (too coincidentally) gives birth as they enter the camp strikes me as an unholy level of idiocy.

Question: why were the police beating the shit out of the immigrants as they enter the camp? I mean what was the original rationale for those cages at the processing centre where people were being kept in “stress positions”? Sure they’d become an instrument of torture/terror, but why were they built in the first place?


As I recall, on my top ten list this year, Children of Men made it to number 10. I enjoyed this movie on almost every level. I loved the plot, the director made some tough and necessary decisions, and it didn’t spend all that much time on a soap box (and boy, did it have quite the opportunity). It was also technically well done and quite gripping all the way through.

Why didn’t it make it to number one? I have no other answer other than I wasn’t all that emotionally attached to Clive Owen, for some reason (or anyone else for that matter). Don’t get me wrong, I liked him and Caine well enough but I wasn’t as deeply involved as I’d like.

Incidentally (for thos curious, if there are any), Pans labyrinth was head and shoulders above my second pick. I absolutely loved it, but I have no intention of hijacking the thread.

Oh!! One suggestion to those who haven’t seen it, do NOT sit in the front row. I got to the theatre halfway through previews and the only seat left was middle front row and I almost threw up.

Cymro, I think spoiler boxes are still appropriate.

I can’t disagree more. If their plan had just been to get captured then you’d be right. But they had an actual plan and an inside man to help make it happen- Michael Caine’s character was established as having a contact within the deportation authorities. That was Sid. Clearly Sid knew the plan, he didn’t know WHY they needed to get this girl out he just arranged it. Maurica the gypsy was Sid’s contact. If the Uprising hadn’t of started and Sid didn’t know that Theo and Key were wanted I think everything was going to happen basically same way. He comes into the camp and leads Theo and Key to the Russians who were clearly smuggling things in and out of the camp. They go down to the sewer and get on a boat.

Sorry about the lack of a spolier. It’s been out here in the UK for so long I forget such things!

I’m not buying it about Sid knowing. He knows that they want to get into the camp - sure, but in the van on the way to the camp doesn’t he say he “doesn’t want to know” why they’re getting in? Also Marika doesn’t seem clued in that it’s a boat they want.


It’s Kee, not Key.

Good movie. Several really well shot action sequences. The chase scene with the car that wouldn’t start was amazingly tense for a chase that was literally proceeding at foot speed. The backwards chase from the motorcycles and the long rescue sequence at the end were both excellent as well. The whole third act was a tour de force.

I liked how the Clive Owen character does heroic things without really becoming violent. He doesn’t shoot anybody and I don’t even remember any physical fights. Yet he still seemed like a badass.

FWIW I believe the title comes from Psalms 107. An excerpt (sorry for the length):

17 Fools, because of their transgression,
and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat;
and they draw near unto the gates of death.

19 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble,
and he saveth them out of their distresses.

20 He sent his word, and healed them,
and delivered them from their destructions.

21 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and declare his works with rejoicing.

23 They that go down to the sea in ships,
that do business in great waters;

24 these see the works of the LORD,
and his wonders in the deep.

25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind,
which lifteth up the waves thereof.

26 They mount up to the heaven,
they go down again to the depths:
their soul is melted because of trouble.

27 They reel to and fro,
and stagger like a drunken man,
and are at their wit’s end.

28 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble,
and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

29 He maketh the storm a calm,
so that the waves thereof are still.

30 Then are they glad because they be quiet;
so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!